A Kumbhaka Phase of Life

My life and schedule opened up unexpectedly this morning, given to me as a gift, so I made my way down to the river, which I had not visited since last week...

The day before yesterday we had an ice storm, so schools were canceled. I tried to go out for a walk, but came back home after nearly killing myself in the process. But today, everything was melting, and the sun was shining through the clouds.

I was down at the river a little later than I usually am - some time during the mid-morning, and the river was beautiful. It was warmer, and the sun was peaking through the clouds, and it felt delicious to turn my face towards it and soak in its healing rays. The ice covering the river seem more thin - and overhead I could hear the ice melting off of the trees, dripping onto the partially thawed ice on the grass as well. The air was fresh, and I filled my lungs with it.

Overhead, two crows danced from one maple tree to the other, and then settled down. Soon, they were joined by a cacophony of birds chirping everywhere. They seemed to be relishing in the relative warmth of this day, and the thawing ice...

As I looked out at the river, I was struck by how once more, the river seemed to be a metaphor for my life. Here we were, in the dead of winter, between seasons - between deep freeze, and perhaps another storm on the horizon. Here I was, my own heart thawing, thanks to Hanuman, and several recent experiences. It occurred to me, that I was in a "kumbhaka" phase of my life - a sacred pause between what has been - and what will be in my life...

I am deeply moved by the life journey of a friend who seems to have entered her final phase. It has made me reflect on my own life and how it has been lived and where it is going - where I put my attention and my efforts - and where I do not - how I have given of myself - and what I have yet to do...

I reflect on the role of effort and surrender, of renunciation, and letting go, of the redemptive role of suffering, and the miracle of life and love...

I have been drawn into this sacred pause in my life by a constellation of different factors and events - and I recall the words of Macrina Wiederkehr who once wrote:

"Sacred is the pause
that brings us into stillness."

Yesterday, I wrote about leaving my house in order. I feel drawn to doing deep, interior work right now - meditating, contemplating, reflecting, re-discovering aspects of myself, connecting to the Divine - and relying more deeply, on my inner resources. It is a very interesting phase to be in...

This month, I have been consumed with emptying closets, and drawers, organizing these places in my home, which invite me to do the same in my heart as well. Why - I am not quite sure. But I only know, that I must do this...

I wrote to a friend today, that I am in the midst of deep reflection and re-assessing my life on many fronts. There is a time to expand and a time to contract. Everything can be reduced to spanda - to pulsation - and everything dances between these two movements. It is a fundamental teaching acknowledged by many teachers of Anusara Yoga, and physicists as well.

Yes, there is contraction and expansion - as there is also the in breath and the out breath - and the sacred pause between them both, so impregnated with the Divine. It is in this "kumbhaka" - this sacred pause - that I find myself right now...

I truly know and believe, that "sacred is the pause, that brings us into stillness..." In time, all will be made clear...

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